Page 1 - From Conversations with Steelworkers: How Mike Oleschuk got his Farm
ISSUE : Issue 27
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/12/1
From Conversations with Steelworkers How Mike OleschukGot his Farm Mike Oleschuk, steelworker: I was born in Austria. Then after the war, it became oc? cupied and called the Ukraine. And then in 1918-19 the Polish occupied it. And with the Polish passport I came to Canada, But my nationality is Ukrainian, I came to Canada in 1929--May 31st--I landed in Quebec. I came there to be on a farm. See, in the old country I had two sisters, and we had there only 12 acres of land. And I didn't want to work like a slave. I could see what would happen, I'd get married and my father would split up the piece of land--a piece for one sister, a piece for another sister, piece of land for me--and after, I'll have nothing to give my children. In the old country, some people ended up working for landlords all their lives. That's all they had. But I did not want to work like a slave. And that's what made me decide to sell my land and pay my fare and come away to Canada. Okay. I came to Canada, I brought all my money, $1200. That time that was quite a lot of money, I didn't know one word of English. And those agents get you, you don't know--took me to where there were bushes and bushes everywhere. I got a home? stead and nobody there, I was by myself. Lots of Ukrainians came to that area, but everybody was around, living far away from one another. I found a farm--80 acres cleared land, a house was built up with logs. It was nice, three rooms--$3000. I was satisfied. I gave down $1000. Now I've got to work and pay it up--$2000, that's the mortgage. All those neighbours there NOTE: The processes, finished products, working conditions and the steel plant itself have changed continuously over the past eighty years. The photos used in this article are intended to give an idea of the work of steelmaking in Cape Breton. They are not in the correct order in the steelmaking process, and they are drawn from all periods, from the earliest days to more recent years. CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE, NUMBER TWENTY-SEVEN WRECK COVE, CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA SECOND CLASS MAIL -- REGISTRATION NUMBER 3014 (1)
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